6th Annual RTE Summit: Wrap-Up

After a long year of anticipation, we were excited to return to in-person networking with our 6th annual RTE Summit at the start of November! Taking place at the Railway Museum in Utrecht, the 2021 RTE Summit featured a number of exciting workshops and presentations, organized by companies such as Vodafone, Amadeus, Rentouch, and so many others. Participants -- nearly 150 of them -- came from all over the world to join us at this inspiring event, with Andrew James Conroy of Avianca traveling 24 hours to make sure he didn’t miss out on this year’s RTE Summit! Talk about commitment.


As much as we have appreciated the innovative approaches to remote networking that were born over the course of the last year, we know that nothing will ever compare to meeting in person to enjoy each other’s company. That is particularly what helped make this year’s RTE Summit all the more special: the human element. The Chairman of this year’s Summit, Ali Hajou, summed it up best when he said that, “People really like networking. They really like just talking with each other. The guest speakers -- every single one of them came up with their own personal story. Their tips, their tricks, their failures, and that is what makes this Summit different from others.” 


The RTEs joining us at this year’s Summit had the chance to enjoy real, personal stories from speakers whose varied journeys through their RTE careers proved both unique and relatable. They covered topics ranging from what it takes to build a successful team in software development, to generating growth recommendations to drive RTE excellence, and everything in between. The event started off on a particularly high note, with a welcome speech from the RTE of 2020, Joris van Doorn.


Joris, an RTE at ASML, has a background as an Agile Coach & Trainer, as well as a Product Manager. His broad expertise and distinctive perspective on the role of RTE allowed him to effortlessly connect with his fellow RTEs at the 2021 Summit. In his own words, his presentation, “...cover[ed] feature teams in the spheres of hardware and software, with an emphasis on how to facilitate collaboration between those two sides.” He had, “...experiences to share about [his] ARTs,” who have, “...feature teams working together in a really complex hybrid hardware and software environment.” If you’re curious to learn more about Joris’ approach to creating attractive work environments, overcoming the challenges that come with remote work, and his general experiences as an RTE, you won’t want to miss out on his pre-RTE Summit interview. Taking the baton from Joris, Mayank Kahre of KLM was announced the winner of the RTE of the Year for 2021! We are already looking forward to welcoming him back next year to deliver his speech at the 7th annual RTE Summit. 


Even though the 2021 RTE Summit was only two days long, we made sure to offer attendees insights into as many varied topics as possible. With the help of our interactive parallel workshops, we brought participants the opportunity to hear from some of the most experienced RTEs in the field: Erin Humbach of Scaled Agile, Inc., Peter Pedross of PEDCO, Dennis Mansell & Roel de Ponti of AgilityMasters, and many others -- for a grand total of 12 workshops over the course of the full two-day event!


But the workshops and presentations were just the beginning, as networking certainly remained a priority at this event. Depending on participants’ preferences, they were given the opportunity to meet fellow RTEs organically, or through a number of exciting activities. This year, we organized the Roundtable Sessions and Speed Dating In a Train Carriage. Whether the RTEs wanted to simply gather ‘round a table and make new connections, or if they were more keen on trying something different and joining in on a speed dating-type event, there was something for everyone! 


The 6th annual RTE Summit proved a major success and a welcome opportunity to reconnect in person. From the informative workshops, to the thought-provoking presentations, to the fantastic networking opportunities, there was something for everyone to enjoy.


From all of us at Gladwell Academy, we would like to thank all of those who helped make this event possible, especially our amazing partners, without whom the 6th annual RTE Summit could not have taken place. A big thank you to piplanning.io by Rentouch, Digital.ai, Valiantys, Scaled Agile, Inc., AgilityMasters, and Seibert Media for playing an integral role in making the 2021 RTE Summit a success for everyone involved. And of course, we’d like to thank the Chairman of this event, Ali Hajou, for hosting yet another unforgettable RTE Summit! 


If you did not have a chance to attend our 6th annual RTE Summit, or if you already miss all the fun you had with us earlier this year, we have some great news for you: you can already secure your spot at the 7th annual RTE Summit, taking place on November 7th & 8th, 2022! Early Bird pricing will not be around for long, so don’t miss your chance to save your seat for the 2022 RTE Summit at a premium discount. We can’t wait to see you next year! 



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